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2006 Arts Calendar

Robbie Jack The Mark Morris Dance Group.

Photo: Robbie Jack


NEW YORK Whitney Biennial 2006: Day for Night Whitney Museum of American Art (March 2–May 28). The famed survey of contemporary art goes global with works by more than 100 artists—from both the usual art-world haunts and from newer centers as diverse as Sweden, Trinidad, and Hong Kong. The curators home in on a zeitgeist of anxious foreboding and political subversion. But there's still fun to be had, including Francesco Vezzoli's decadent, Hollywood-inspired trailer for an imaginary remake of Gore Vidal's Caligula. On-Site: New Architecture in Spain Museum of Modern Art (through May 1). The dramatic development of Spain as a hub for architectural innovation is celebrated in this show, which features models and photographs of projects under construction or recently completed, by home-grown talents (Rafael Moneo, Abalos & Herreros) and international stars (Toyo Ito, Jean Nouvel). WASHINGTON D.C. The Renoir Returns: A Celebration of Masterworks at the Phillips Collection Phillips Collection. In the 1920's, art collector Duncan Phillips envisaged for his "American Prado" an intimate domestic setting, where his Modernist treasures would shine with particular splendor. The nation's first museum of modern art reopens on April 15, after a four-year renovation, with galleries for the display of postwar and contemporary work, a new sculpture courtyard, a re-sited Rothko room, and the return of the museum's most beloved work, Renoir's Boating Party. Cézanne in Provence National Gallery of Art (through May 7). The centennial of Paul Cézanne's death is the occasion for this exhibition exploring the painter's intimate relationship with the region of his birth. The nearly 120 works include early portraits of family members, paintings of Provençal villages, a late series of bathers, and, presiding over all, the monumental profile of Montagne Ste.-Victoire. BOSTON Living in Motion: Design and Architecture for Flexible Dwelling Institute of Contemporary Art (through May 7). From Afghani yurts to Noguchi lamps and German wristphones, this wide-ranging show investigates the idea of mobility in traditional and contemporary design. HOUSTON Eva Hesse Drawings Menil Collection (through April 23). Hesse, one of the most influential American sculptors of her generation, developed a signature style of postminimalist abstraction, emphasizing process and organic form. This exhibition (which travels to New York's Drawing Center in May) focuses on her works on paper. LOS ANGELES Lorna Simpson Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (April 16–July 10). The first mid-career survey devoted to this groundbreaking contemporary artist, whose photo-based works and film installations explore issues of race and gender. HONOLULU Life in the Pacific of the 1700's Honolulu Academy of Arts (through May 14). Priceless treasures given by Pacific Islanders to the English captain James Cook during his three voyages are making a return journey from the Georg-August University in Göttingen, Germany, for this exhibition, which reveals the art and industry of a world untouched by the West. EUROPE AMSTERDAM Rembrandt, Quest of a Genius Rembrandt House (April 1–July 2); Rembrandt-Caravaggio Van Gogh Museum (through June 18). The 400th anniversary of Rembrandt van Rijn's birth is being observed with a spate of spectacular exhibitions, including a major retrospective at the Rembrandt House and, at the Van Gogh Museum, a show pairing two Baroque geniuses famed for psychological insight and metaphysical illumination.—Leslie Camhi


AUSTIN, TEXAS The Mari and James A. Michener Gallery at the Blanton Museum of Art (University of Texas at Austin; www.blantonmuseum.org) opens to the public April 30. Boston architects Kallmann McKinnell & Wood designed the Neoclassical structure, which has limestone and granite walls capped by red Spanish-tile roofs. The new gallery will allow the Blanton—which will ultimately be the largest university museum facility in the country—to showcase more of its collection, with strong holdings of old-master paintings and art of the American West and Latin America. The five inaugural exhibitions include "New Now Next: The Contemporary Blanton." OHIO Fans of hip Japanese architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of the firm SANAA will have to wait until June to see the innovative Tokyo designers' first American project: the Glass Pavilion at the Toledo Museum of Art (800/644-6862; toledomuseum.org). On the museum's wooded campus, SANAA has created a crystalline box with a steel roof that appears to float above the transparent, curving walls. What's inside?A collection of glass objets that ranges from 13th-century Egyptian lamps and 17th-century Venetian vases to sculpture by Dale Chihuly. EUROPE WOLFSBURG, GERMANY The latest feat of structural daring by Zaha Hadid is the Phaeno Science Center (www.phaeno.de), a museum of exploration and science for both children and adults. The swelling concrete piers and kinetic patterns of oblong windows animate the building, which rises above the Mitteland Canal, beside the city's main rail station. (Berlin is an hour away by ICE train, Hanover 30 minutes.) Inside, a surreal landscape of whitewashed concrete craters and cones creates a sculptural backdrop for 250 hands-on, kid-friendly interactive exhibits and installations that illuminate natural and scientific phenomena.—Raul Barreneche


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